Missy Franklin’s high school swimming career is over, but it didn’t wrap up without a heck of a bang. First she inspired what has to be one of the only -- if not the sole -- sellout of a high school swim meet in history. Then she showed up at that meet and set a new national prep record in one of the events she competed in.
As reported by the Associated Press and Denver network KUSA, the Colorado Class 5A state swimming championships, which were held on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Co., sold out days before the event took place. The reason for the sell-out was clearly teenage Olympic superstar Missy Franklin, who competed in the 200-yard individual medley, 500-yard freestyle and two relay events at the championships.
There were a total of 990 tickets for the championship meet, a stunning number for a high school swimming event. Nearly all of those tickets were allotted to high schools so that any parents who wanted to would be able to see their children swim at the title event. Usually, some of those tickets get returned and are sold to all comers on the day of the meet.
That never happened in 2013, with Franklin taking the pool for the final time as a high school star Aurora (Co.) Regis Jesuit High.
Those who were lucky enough to get a ticket got quite a show, with Franklin setting a new national high school record in the 200 IM en route to winning a state title in all four of her events … as well as the overall team title.
After the victories, Franklin looked back on her high school career with the assembled press, admitting that she struggled with the decision over whether to compete in her senior season, eventually deciding to do so because of sheer school pride.
"I don't know what to say, I'm totally speechless,” Franklin said in an interview that was captured by KUSA. “I had a lot of trouble deciding whether or not to swim high school this year.
"Some people would come up to me and ask me, Why are you doing this?' And other people would come up to me and say, Thank you so much for doing this. The whole time it's been this back and forth, and now I finally realize why I did it. Just being with my girls in that last moment and crying and knowing it would be the last time I was going to swim with all of them and have a Regis cap on my head. That's why I did it."